Dr. Taylor was on a paleontology mission with his son, Max in Africa. Rex, Max's best friend, joins along as well. When Max had stumbled across some magic stone slabs with images of dinosaurs, the boys and their friend Zoe were being called out by the dinosaurs for help. It seems that an evil organization called the "Alpha Gang," led by the nefarious Dr. Z, traveled back in time to hunt down the dinosaurs so that they could take over the world by using those dinosaurs. It is up to Max, Rex, and their friend Zoe to travel around the world, defeating Dr. Z and the Alpha Gang while hunting down the dinosaurs.
Welcome to Digimon… I mean Dinosaur King. For real though, We have three protagonists… two guys and one girl, who find special cards one day and when they rub the card on a stone, it activates. Does this not sound like the D-readers and cards in Digimon Tamers, especially the two guys and a girl concept? And then we have the bad guys, the Alpha Gang who seem to be a rip off of Team Rocket from Pokemon. During the time that this came out, it feels like most shows were trying to mimic Pokemon and Digimon though I think this might have been the
first to put both into the mix.
The characters are pretty annoying, and seem only like spitting images of three main types of Digimon Tamers… the children. We have your standard goggle wearing (or in this case, horn visor that seems to light up for some unknown reason?) leader who is over active and doesn’t know when to stop, Max. The more level headed boy who seems to actually think, Rex. And then we have the whiny little girl, Zoe.
Let’s start with Max… well… He’s stupid. For a guy who is really into Dinosaurs, when he first meets Chomp the Triceratops, he doesn’t seem to have any clue what it eats. If you have ever watched Land Before Time, a Triceratops is also known as a three horn and is pretty much what Sarah is. For those playing the home game, they eat plants. I guess it makes sense that the guy who wears horns on his head all the time and is probably the laughing stock wherever he goes to school because of it would be the owner of a Dinosaur with horns. Still, he treats Chomp like a dog most of the time. He also came up with ‘Dino Slash’ which feels like a rip off of ‘Go Poke ball!’ On the other hand, like all main characters, he cares deeply for the dinosaurs that keep getting abused by the Alpha Gang and wants to help them.
Rex is pretty smart, at least as smart as a character can be in here (That isn’t much by the way…). I’m surprised that he is so grown up since his father is exactly like Doc Taylor, the father of Max. I know characters are not all the same, but if you grow up in the same type of situation, you would at least be similar to the other person. Anyway, his Dino is Ace the Carnotaurus. Ace is kind of a speedy little guy who just does not want to stay put. In fact, basically all through the first part of the series, that was all Rex was dealing with. The problem I have with this is that when they finally figure out why, it’s not Rex finding out, it’s the whinny Zoe who does. It would have been a better way to bring Rex and Ace closer together if he found out himself.
Rex and Max also have the same complex of who is the leader that any Digimon show has. They bicker about what the right way and the wrong way of doing things is, sometimes getting themselves into more problems. There really isn’t a reason for this fighting, it just happens. The show doesn’t even make me want to root for any of them to be the leader to be fair so the whole fight just seems pointless.
Zoe seems to be a bit thrown to the side. She has a Parasaurolophus named Paris and how she got that name feels the same as someone calling a Panda Pan or a Tiger Tig… It’s just the first few letters of the Dino’s species. She normally only uses healing cards and has a rather gentle Dino instead of a fighting dino like the other two. In shows like this, they seem to always throw the women into that area… in Pokemon, Misty was a water Pokemon expert, and only water Pokemon it seems… in Digimon, the women were always getting pushed around or not seen very much (or they are given attitudes like they are always PMS-ing like the girl in Digimon Tamers). She may be considered a main character, but she just feels like support.
Max’s father is a little odd. Somehow, he knows a lot about the stones the kids have right away, thinking that the thoughts of the dinosaurs are trapped within them. He seems to explain the stones like he knows exactly what they are used for and what can be done with them in the second half of the first episode. I see him somewhat like a clumsy Indiana Jones in a child’s cartoon, or maybe Professor Oak. His assistant, Dr. Reese Drake, is very monotoned and never really shows much emotion even when she is angry or embarrassed. Once in a great while at the end, she does seem to lighten up but other then that, no emotion. We could just have a computer instead of her and we wouldn’t be missing much. There doesn’t even seem to be much reaction between Zoe and Dr. Drake even though they are sisters which is rather sad. I would love to see more about their relationship instead of the whole ‘hey, she is my sister and you can probably forget about that because we are never going to show any emotion like normal sisters do.’
Let’s talk about the villains now. Pretty much, Doctor Z would really be the father of Eggman with the outbursts and trying to take over the world lines. He wants to be king of the dinosaurs, and yet he can’t even take care of his own minions. His minion (and stepson), Ed, is so stupid, he doesn’t even know how to spell Z’s name for crying out loud! I most of the time want to call him Meoth and have him meow like him. Ursula always acts like the queen, commenting on her looks and acting as though she should be taken care off (Much like Jessie from Team Rocket). She also gets bitten a lot by dinos. Her stepbrother Zander seems to be like James in that he tries very much to make her feel good (And that isn’t in the perverted way).
So, we can now talk about what a really stupid idea it was to make a Dinosaur Card Game for children who probably couldn’t pronounce the damn names of the Dinos! I mean, what child would know exactly how to pronounce Carnotaurus and Cryolophosaurus? I mean I can’t even pronounce them and I’m 26 (when I first reviewed this, I was 23)! Another thing that is rather strange is the fact that they brought in battle fields into the show about 9 episodes in. It is rather confusing since they were at first trying to make this show sound as though the dino’s were actually living breathing beings instead of just cards. Actually, again I am feeling like I have seen this before… in Yugioh.
The 3D animation stuff they have in the opening is really bad. The models look very broken and dinosaurs were never meant to actually dance. They seem to flop around without any reason. It’s also the same in the actual show. Models brake pretty badly and feel as though they would be better animated then CG. The only thing they did right was showing the breathing of the dinos but that’s only a small bit for them to look ‘alive’ I guess. The textures on these modals are colorful but definitely not nice. It’s like they made the textures overly pixel-ated and choppy. The transformations make me want to yell out ‘DIGI EVOLUSION!’ because it acts pretty much the same. The 2D animation actually looks pretty good and the dinos in that form look cute too. So much that I might have wanted one as a partner too. They just really messed up by adding the 3D animation.
Warning, it was 4kids dubbed and when people say that they messed up a lot of shows, they probably included this one in that. The voices of the main characters are really bad. Zander and Ursula sound so much like Team Rockets Jessie and James that I normally feel like I’m watching Pokémon instead. The stupid little puns they forced into the show feel like there are way too much. We can’t go five seconds without a pun it seems because everyone does them. The music is supposed to be upbeat and fun but it sounds like they were forcing it, it doesn’t fit this at all. I can’t really stand the opening song and the background music feels like it’s ripped from Sonic X.
Overall, the whole show just seems rather pointless. If you’re a big fan of Dinosaurs, there might be something for you but I don’t see what you can get from it. The Dinos’s don’t look real at all, the coloring just feels like its overly bright and childish. I think the only thing you will get from it is the names of the dinos.
This came out in 07 and ended in 08, which is honestly surprising to me since I thought it was earlier, and for what it is and only seeing the English dub for it this wasn't bad. Being dubbed by 4kids would send people away usually, but actually sitting down and watching this really helped me to see that 4kids wasn't a BAD thing since it did bring a lot of anime to places where it isn't regularly around at that time and making good memories to look back on.
This series is one of the good ones to look back on because the dialogue
is pretty good, you get to learn about dinosaurs that aren't brought up by other famous things, you get a reminder that this was a card game as well that fell under (like Chaotic), both uses of animation in it is good, and it has two seasons for you to sit through and when it's funny I hope you'll see it too. The ending is pretty typical for this kind of anime though and there are recurring jokes, one in particular that I fucking hate. Watch it or don't, this show is on Netflix and ready for anyone to view at other places available and I'm done.
Kids love dinosaurs, every kid goes through a phase where they think dinosaurs are the coolest things ever and dream about becoming a paleontologist when they grow up. Usually this happens between six and seven years old and that's definitely who this anime was made for. I don't hate this anime, but unless you're a little kid I wouldn't recommend this anime to anyone. The reason I wanted to watch this anime was because I loved it as a kid, but I never finished it so I wanted to see how it ended.
All of the action in this anime is watching dinosaurs fight, which I
know sounds great, but the animation for these dinosaurs is so bad that they look like they're made of plastic and aren't even hurting each other. Furthermore, a lot of the dinosaurs in the show look alike i.e. some I can only tell apart because one's a different color than the other, I know all of the dinosaurs in the anime are based on actual dinosaurs but that shouldn't be an excuse. However, one thing that does give the anime a little variety is how there are different moves the dinosaurs can use i.e. some can shoot lighting and others can breathe fire.
As for the story; the anime, at least season 1, is extremely episodical and every episode follows the same formula. The D-Team gets an alert that a new dinosaur card has appeared, they go to where the card is which can be anywhere on Earth, they fight the Alpha Gang who also want the card, the D-Team wins and walks away with the new card. However, the episodes do have some connection to each other. The grand question that kind of drags through the anime is "where did the cards come from" and of course it's one of those plot devices where you don't get an answer until the end of the anime.
Season 2 is divided into about 5-episode long story arcs. I actually like Season 1 better than 2 because in Season 2 I feel like the story arcs just drag on way too much while at least in Season 1 every episode is self-contained. However, in Season 2 the plot gets a lot more complex which is good.
As for the characters; the main characters, Max, Rex, and Zoey, have nothing unique about them! They're everything you're expecting; they're kind hearted, brave, selfless, and all they want to do is protect the dinosaurs. What I hate about them most is how the plot for a lot of episodes revolves around these little-kid problems they have i.e. in one episode Zoey didn't like the guy her older sister was dating and in another Rex's dinosaur partner Ace is afraid of water. My favorite characters are definitely the Alpha Gang. They remind me so much of Team Rocket from Pokemon; the Alpha Gang are some of the most incompetent villains ever! In every episode they always either get electrocuted, blown up, set on fire, or are victims of some kind of horrible accident and they never get the dinosaur card! I just love watching them fail over and over again! Also, I love how eccentric Max, Rex, and Zoey's parents are, ironically they don't get much screen time.
Overall: Only watch this anime if you're a little kid and you love dinosaurs because this isn't a short anime that you can knock out in a few hours, it takes a while to go through every episode. Honestly, I'm glad I'm finally done with this anime, but I'm happy I pushed through to the end because the ending was very satisfying. My advice to anyone looking at this anime is to just watch Pokemon, it's way better and there's a lot of similarities.
For the past 20 years, children and adults alike have dreamed of what it would be like to go get a little Pocket Monster partner from a professor and start beating Gyms. But Pokemon is not the only series to feature partnerships and we need something to tide us over while we wait for Sun and Moon!